The island got some bad news this morning. The territory's single biggest private employer, the Hovensa refinery, is shutting down. This is huge. Not just the 2,000 jobs, although that's a giant hole in the economy. Electricity, which is already more expensive than anywhere in the states, is generated by fuel purchased from the refinery at a discount. Rates will soar. Businesses that were just hanging on with the high utility costs will get flung over the edge. Gas prices, which were a little lower than stateside, will jump.
And that's just the start. Everything will get more expensive, from a little more to a lot. This is really big, bad news for St. Croix.